Black Indians United
Black Indians United Legal Defense and Education Fund
5 Tribes Embassy
1866 Treaties-Ethnic (Black) Indians and Freedmen
Exception: Or The Rule
Hopi Mishong (Blue Flute Clan)
Mother and Daughter, 1898
[Mishong=Black Man, Original Chief settling Mishongnovi]
Hopi Basketweaver and Husband
North American Cowichan Warrior
Wearing Similar Headdress to Australian Corroboree Dress
Australians At Peake Creek
In Corroborree Dress
The preceding pictures provide a mere clue to the actual phenotype of Ethnic Aboriginals inhabiting the Americas from a remote prehistoric age that certainly predates arrival of Europeans. What you are presently viewing are some of nations harboring the remnant of Ethnic Aboriginal survivors from the 1850s through to 1920. These particular natives had nothing what-so-ever to do with the Transatlantic Slave Trade, yet their visage demonstrates clearly an indelible link to the Bands of Ethnic Tribal Peoples of their own nations, as well to the Ethnic (Black) Indigenous Native Americans and Freedmen of 5 Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma Indian Territory (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole Nations).
One such tribe, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, has posited its ideology of exclusion (which is claimed by litigants, not to be racist), whereupon they contend;
"the Cherokee Nation seeks a declaration that federal statutes, including the Five Tribes Act of 1906, "modified the Treaty of 1866 thereby resulting in non-Indian Freedmen descendants...no longer, as a matter of federal law, having rights to citizenship of the Cherokee Nation and benefits derived from such citizenship." (Complaint 18.)
A few thoughts:
Ethnic (Black) Indigenous Native Americans and Freedmen, need not be "Indians," which is strictly a European Appellation. They are, however, Indigenous Peoples, legally recorded in the 1866 Treaties between the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole Nations with the United States, as persons of African Ancestry (and Blood). It was even mentioned that some were enslaved, while others were free persons of color, some of whom may or may never have been enslaved. (which was also mentioned).
Beyond that, the same said people were Adopted (en masse) by the tribes (Union Loyalist Factions of the Tribe).
Further, such persons were mandated and stipulated by the same said Treaties to be accorded all the rights, benefits and entitlements of Native Citizens of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole Nations to be treated equally with kindness. A law was also imposed within each of the Treaties regulating unequal laws, bearing oppressively upon the aforementioned citizens, giving the U.S. President and/or Congress plenary powers to render such law(s) void.
Among other things, each Tribal Peoples were to be accorded Political Representatives to represent their interests, a proper Census was to be retained on the entirety of the citiizenry of the Indian Territory, to be published by the Secretary of the Interior. Trust Funds were established (including those set-aside for the use and benefit of Freedmen, their Schools, Missions, Churches, Homesteads and Farms). Provisions were also made for their education, building of educational facilities, receiving just compensation for work, handcrafts and farm goods; and each Nation retained their Sovereignty, National Character and right to self-determined efforts to manage their own affairs.
Freedmen were ceded millions of acres upon which to establish their own colonies, districts, townships and communities.
Congress earlier entered an Act to Ameliorate the Condition of the Freedmen and interviewed each and every one, even against their will, in order to create the treaty-mandated Census and to generate original individual patents for the ceded Tribal Lands. The interviews were conducted by the Dawes Commission from 1898-1907. The original patents for Freedmen Lands were distributed from 1906 through 1908.
It is the position of the Cherokee Nation that Freedmen lost all rights to Citizenship in 1906, but it appears that the actions of the Dawes Commission, the Secretary of the Interior and the Indian Land Agents all support the fact that Treaty Rights of the entitled outweighed citizenship rights, whether won or lost.
The Cherokee Nation relies upon a 1906 disenfranchisement act of their Freedmen, while other Freedmen continue to rely upon the 1866 Treaties and the specifically enfranchising portions of another House of Representative Enactment, also put forth in the same year, in fact on June 21, 1906.
June 21, 1906. [H.R. 15331.] [Public, No. 258.] 34 Stat., 325
An act making appropriations for the current and contingent expenses of the Indian Department, for fulfilling treaty stipulations with various Indian tribes, and for other purposes, for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and seven.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the following sums be, and they are hereby, appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the purpose of paying the current and contingent expenses of the Indian Department, for fulfilling treaty stipulations with various Indian tribes, and in full compensation for all offices the salaries for which are specifically provided for herein for the service of the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and seven, namely:
I. General Provisions.
That there shall be reserved from allotment one acre of the unallotted lands of the Choctaw tribes for each church under the control of or used exclusively by the Choctaw or Chickasaw Freedmen, under the supervision of the authorities of said tribes and officials of the United States, and patents shall issue, as provided by law, to the person or organization entitled to receive the same. There are also reserved such tracts from said lands as the Secretary of the Interior may approve for cemeteries; and such cemeteries may be reserved, respectively, for Indians, freedmen, and whites, as the Secretary may designate.
That section two of the act entitled “An act to provide for the final disposition of the affairs of the Five Civilized Tribes in the Indian Territory, and for other purposes,” approved April twenty-sixth, nineteen hundred and six, be, and the same is hereby, amended by striking out thereof the words “Provided further, That nothing herein shall be construed so as to hereafter permit any person to file an application for enrollment in any tribe where the date for filing application has been fixed by agreement for enrollment in any tribe where the date for filing application has been fixed by agreement between said tribe and the United States: Provided further, That nothing herein shall apply to the intermarried whites in the Cherokee Nation whose cases are now pending in the Supreme Court of the United States.“And insert in said act in lieu of the matter repealed, the following: Provided further, That nothing herein shall be construed as so hereafter to permit any person to file an application for enrollment or to be entitled to enrollment in any of the said tribes, except for minors the children of Indians by blood, or of freedmen members of said tribes, or of Mississippi Choctaws identified under the fourteenth article of the treaty of eighteen hundred and thirty, as herein otherwise provided, and the fact that the name of a person appears on the tribal roll of any of said tribes shall not be construed to be an application for enrollment.
The Cherokee Nation position notwithstanding, the Acts that damaged the Indian Freedmen most virulently, seems to have been the removal of protections on the lands of Full-Bloods and Freedmen in 1910.
Mind you, the Act did not remove their Citizenship or Nationality, but it did serve to discriminate against and destablize the Land Rights of Full Bloods and Freedmen and served as the direct cause of exposing their non-taxed lands to taxation (a huge, insurmountable burden upon a purposefully impoverished populace, having no national status as U.S. Citizens or Representation), ergo, taxation without representation, expropriation, graft and corruption.
Other actions also aided in the de facto disenfranchisement of Ethnic (Black) Indigenous Native Americans and Freedmen (many of which will be discussed in another area). One of which was the 1941 Solicitors Opinion that suggested to the Tribes that they may reorganize without their Freedmen.
The U.S. Solicitor gave no such equal and opposite suggestion or advise to the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole Freedmen, to take advantage of their right to reorganize without "Indians" in order to preserve their 1866 Treaty Rights.
And of course, there was also imposition of 20th Century Blood Quantum Requirements for Citizenship and Federal Recognition implemented by the codified rules of access to the Indian Reorganization Act.
Regardless, whether or not "non-Indian Freedmen descendants" no longer had rights to citizenship of the Cherokee Nation because of ethnic exclusion, exile and discriminatory Congressional Legislation, it did not wipe out their Treaty-mandated rights to all benefits and entitlements, or their Civil and Human Right to a Nationality, because no Band of Freedmen ever voluntarily renounced their Nationality as Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek or Seminole, nor did they ever pledge an oath of allegiance to another nation. Neither have they been adopted (voluntarily) by any other Nation.
Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole Freedmen (including Ethnic Mississippi Choctaws, Moors, Creoles and remnants of other allied Tribal Nations particular to the 5 Civilized Tribes) were deprived of their nationality by ruthless imposition of the will of racists to strip them of their very humanity.
It is right that Ethnic (Black) Indigenous Native Americans and Freedmen arise to state unequivocably that there has always been "non-Indian Cherokee Citizens, included as individuals viewed as Indian Freedmen within the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole Nations.
Those "non-Indian Cherokees" were specifically included in the 1866 Treaties (by the Union Loyalist faction of the tribe) as persons of African Ancestry, Free Persons of Color never having been Slaves, and formerly enslaved persons, referred to throughout the document, as Freedmen.
It bears repeating...the original intent of the signatories was established by their inclusion of the information that "All the Cherokees and freed persons who were formerly Slaves who resided in the Cherokee Nation prior to June first, eighteen hundred and sixty-one." This targeted group of admitted African-Ancestored Tribal peoples-most of whom had Cherokee Blood with accommodation of those without, whom had also been ADOPTED EN MASSE in 1863, at Cowskin Bayou, accomplished with the aid and assistance of a representative (and lineal descendant) of the old original Cherokee Nation Chiefs of Chota, and the Cherokee Legislature. That Representative was, Spring Frog, descended from Raven of Chota.
The same said Adoptees, along with Freedmen imbued with both Indian and African Blood (and their Descendants) were still included without provisional requirements or encumbrances placed upon lineal descent in the 1866 Treaties.
regardless as to subsequent provisions, resolution or rules of access, the language of the treaties remains the same and there has been no legal repudiation of the document, nor its obliterations or the rights of the multi-party beneficiaries, the identified classes of entitlement groups.
Even the United States, which is responsible for the character of the tribes, cannot itself simply strip citizens having African blood, of the benefits of citizenship and nationality without their having committed heinous crimes, like treason or sedition.
Further, Indian Freedmen, retained the constitutional right to freely associate, and they gained the right (equally) to reorganize like all other Tribes, under the provisions of the Indian Reorganization Acts of 1934 and its expansion, in 1936.
In the face of the ruthless exile, stripping of the citizenship and nationality of Indian Freedmen, the responsibility shifted to the United States as Stewards and Guardians of the Tribes to treat with the Indian Freedmen Nations, survivors of the Ethnic Exile, to restore the illegally vanquished rights of Indian Freedmen of the 5 Civilized Tribes.
On May 29, the federal defendants filed a motion to transfer this case to the D.C. District Court, or to stay the litigation pending further action by the D.C. District Court on several pending motions.
Congresswoman, The Honorable Diane Watson, U.S. House of Representatives, requested to Attorney General Holder, that the Civil Rights Division begin an investigation in the plight of Freedmen. To wit the following response was given; "The Civil Rights Division is currently exploring its authority to conduct an investigation pursuant to existing civil rights laws."